The Circular Logic of Circular Miles

Lately it’s been feeling to me like I’ve been spending way too much of my life in my car, so just for grins I re-set the trip odometer in my trusty Subaru yesterday.

You know how many miles I drove between 4am and 8pm?

Exactly one hundred and sixty one.

Now, if you happen to be a truck driver or a sales person who covers all of Colorado, I’m sure that 161 miles doesn’t seem like that all much to to you, but here’s the crazy part.

At NO POINT in time yesterday was my car more than 10 miles away from my house.

Just think about that for a second if you would.

That basically means I spent all day driving around in little teeny tiny circles. 161 miles of teeny tiny circles according to my odometer.

For roughly the same mileage, I could’ve just driven to Breckenridge and back but instead, I had the pleasure of driving to work and back, to the grocery store and back (two different times it should be noted), to a kid’s soccer practice and back, to my daughter’s friend’s house and back, to pick up Thai food and back and so on.

Because of the inordinate number of miles I travel on it everyday, rumor has it that the Denver City Council is thinking of re-naming Monaco Parkway in my honor.  Apparently “The Honorary Mike Casey Super-Dork Highway” is one option they’re considering.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine stretch of asphalt but the fact that I know every pothole, stop light and man-hole cover on it isn’t a good sign, is it?

Am I alone here?  Am I the only one who has concrete evidence supporting the notion that really and truly I spend most of my life driving around in circles? 

If I am the only one, just tell me.  Please.  I can take it.  Really I can.

I’m hopeful that this phenomenon is just a part of life in the 21st Century and not some sort of great shortcoming on my part but I’m realistic enough to admit that it could be the latter.

 Maybe if I were just smarter and more efficient and better organized.then I could figure out a way out of this circular travel existence I’ve created for myself.

Have you ever looked at a hamster in a cage, running endlessly on that little wheel, and thought to yourself “Boy, that’s gotta get annoying after a while”?

It occurs to me that while I was laughing at the hamster, he was probably laughing even harder at me.

With all that in mind, I spent some time this morning coming up with a few ideas that might help remedy this circular travel situation in my life.

If they happen to have some application to your life, feel free to do with them what you will.

  1. Pack up the whole family and move them into my office here at Mountain Headquarters.  Obviously this eliminates at least one trip every day and the suits in the corner office would LOVE that idea.  I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to fit 5 people into my 10 by 10 foot office but perhaps some little teeny bunk beds and one of those dorm fridges would fit the bill.
  2. Take all available financial resources and give them to NASA so they can start developing Star Trek style transporter technology.  I’ll still end up spending all my time at soccer practices and the grocery store, but just think how cool it’d be to say “Beam me over to the frozen food section, Scotty. I need to get me one of them hungry man dinners.”
  3. Take a cue from Howard Hughes and create a total hermit existence for myself and my family so that none of us ever have to leave the pod.  I could build a giant moat and a 30 foot wall around my house have all our food delivered and just sit back and live off my trust fund.  Oh wait.  I don’t have a trust fund.  Plus, I’d  be locked in my house around the clock with 3 kids under the age of 10 which would quickly make me even crazier than Howard Hughes ever was.  Maybe I better re-think that one.
  4. I realize the government has established a mandatory minimum driving age, but my 10 year old son is very responsible.  If I could just teach him how to drive then he’d be the one driving in circles all day and I could sit back and watch Sports Center with a beer. 
  5. Joking aside, obviously this kind of circular driving has a significant impact on the amount of fossil fuel I burn, the amount of money I spend on gas, and the amount of damage done to the ozone layer.  Maybe instead of driving,  I need to hire one of those bicycle rickshaws to cart me around every day.  Hmmm.  I wonder if Charlize Theron is available for that gig?

Wherever you may happen to go today, I wish you non-circular travel and happy trails. 

And while you’re out, how about picking up my kids at soccer practice?

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